Welcome Safaia Fifita ‘Iunisi Sisifa

Welcome Safaia Fifita ‘Iunisi Sisifa

I’m baaaaaack πŸ™‚

We are proud and grateful to announce our third baby –Β Safaia Fifita ‘Iunisi Sisifa.

She arrived on Friday 27 September 2019 at 2:18pm after a 2 hour labour.

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So many emotions with all that’s been happening.

September 27 is our Anniversary of when Leki and I first started dating… this year is our 12th Anniversary.

Safaia is Tongan for Sapphire which is the birthstone of September.

Fifita and ‘Iunisi were our last surviving grandparents who passed away this time last year.

And lastly, I managed to achieve the Water Birth I was aiming for which makes me happy because I focused on achieving this for over 12 months.

This meant being healthy and ensuring I didn’t have pre-eclampsia like I did with my other 2 x pregnancies!

So I would like to present an unfiltered account of the final stages of my pregnancy just like last time with baby #2 – Kyneton Wardell Sisifa.


WARNING: BELOW YOU WILL SEE ME GIVING BIRTH TO MY DAUGHTER AND IN ALL IT’S GLORY.Β THERE WILL BE REAL BLOOD AND GUTS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! πŸ™‚


So here is the story of Safaia’s journey to join us in chronological order beginning on Thurs 26 Sept 2019:

Thurs 26 Sept

5am – Start of Braxton-Hicks Contractions

At 40 weeks and 3 days I officially started the final stages of my pregnancy.

I monitored how often they came on by popping the times into my Viber app I use with my hubby Leki.

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The next few Braxton-Hicks signs were at 1-2 hour intervals 8am, 9:30am, 12pm, 2pm, 4:38pm with some pink discharge, 6:55pm, 8:07pm, 10:06pm and 10:43pm.

Fri 27 Sept

12:30am – Regular timings of Braxton-Hicks Contractions

Between 12:30am to 6:14am I had 12 x short contractions but they became more regular from every 1 hour to 30 mins then down to every 20-10 mins!

We decided that we would head into Melbourne and drop off the kids to Aunty Vine so that we have plenty of time to travel to Sunshine Hospital.

I had a short warm shower (in an effort to try and relax the muscles from contracting)… but that didn’t work as I had 3 x contractions during my 10 minute shower πŸ˜‰

Fortunately I had already prepared our car, my hospital bag and had the kids bags packed and ready to go 2 weeks prior.

7:12am – ‘Normal’ morning

Leki prepared breakfast and encouraged our normal routine.

Our 4yo Emelina and 18mo Kyneton were happy, fed and cleaned up before we packed them in the car.

When we left at 8am I had 9 contractions which lasted about 1-2 minutes each and as a gauge were around 6/10 in pain (10 being the worst).

These contractions were ranging between 5-7 minutes apart!

We left home in Gisborne at 7:45am for Preston in good spirits.

GAME TIME!

8:40am – Dropped The Kids To Aunty Vine

While we were heading into Melbourne I contacted my caseloadΒ midwife Ellie and explained the situation.

I feel so grateful that I have Ellie in my corner again as she previously delivered my baby #2 Kyneton.

Fortunately she was already on her way into the Hospital and recommended heading in when my contractions were strong and regularly 5mins apart.

I was happy with that because my contractions continued to vary from 10mins to 7 mins to 5mins.

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We set off to Sunshine Hospital at 9:20am which would be a 25min drive.

My contractions were consistently 5mins apart.

9:45am – Arrived To Sunshine Hospital

Instead of waiting at Aunty Vine’s house we decided to go to the Hospital and wait.

I lost count of how many times I went to the toilet… I felt like my bladder was always full and I needed to empty them even if nothing happened.

Leki and I waited until my contractions ramped up as Midwife Ellie prepared my birthing suite for the Water Birth.

Around this time I rang some family members to let them know that I was about to be admitted into the hospital.

My Mother and sisters are in Tonga celebrating my Grandmother Taina’s life and her headstone unveiling with Family. They were so excited to hear the news!

My Dad rang and wished me well.

The contractions were frustrating as it did increase in severity from 6/10 to 8/10 but the time between contractions changed from 20mins to 10mins and again back to 5mins.

In the mean time I was walking up and down the hallways, walking up and down stairs and kept a positive mindset.

I was thinking of my little girl and set the intention to have a nice peaceful Water Birth.

11:35am – Admitted

I was taken up to Level 3 Room 8.

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It was a luxurious experience and I don’t say that lightly.

The room was dimly lit but filled with nice electric candles plus soothing meditation music was playing in the background.

As my contractions continued to be irregular Midwife Ellie offered me a Stretch & Sweep to bring heighten the contractions and bring on the labouring.

After a few minutes thinking about it I decided to go ahead with it.

The Stretch & Sweep was performed at 11:45am.

12:34pm – REGULAR contractions

I was going through very regular contractions after the Stretch & Sweep.

I was standing, walking and labouring upright as I found it comfortable.

By 12:36pm I had officially started the labouring process (according to Midwife Ellie) and was helped into the Water Bath.

I was having stronger contractions and I felt like the ‘baby had dropped’.

1:00pm – Labouring in the Bath

The heat of the water was relaxing.

It helped to have Leki in there with me as he applied pressure to my lower back for each of my contractions in the water.

I was in all fours but my top half was braced on the edge of the Bath as Ellie was giving me instructions.

With each of the contractions Ellie was coaching me through what was happening.

She had a mirror underneath me to see what was happening.

I have to be honest I was so scared that I’d shit the bath.

Even though Ellie said it’s completely normal and does happen often I still didn’t want a code brown πŸ˜‰

In the end I didn’t lose my bowels but I was half concentrating on trying to labour without dropping my guts LOL

Although the pain were intense each wave of contractions was coupled with a sense of getting closer and closer to the finish line.

There was a point that I felt Safaia’s head moving closer to the exits.

After that push subsided I complained to Ellie that every time I let the contraction ‘push her out’ when it stopped it was like she retreated back in.

Ellie then explained that it’s normal as the baby is moving and the passageways are stretching for her eventual arrival.

Contractions were 2 mins apart now.

2:18pm – Safaia Arrives!

One of the key instructions Ellie said was to allow you body to push when you feel like you can’t avoid pushing anymore.

That means don’t push too early… wait until you can’t hold it back any longer!

The main reason why you don’t want to push too early is that it can tear your vaginal walls which means a lot of damage, stitches and longer healing times.

I made my best effort to look for that telltale sign of not being able to hold it in any longer and then push with all that I had!

My last 3 x contractions I was increasingly getting more and more frustrated because I always felt that Safaia would edge closer to the exit and then she’s running back in πŸ™‚

But then the time came…

There came a sensation that felt like all the lead up disappointment of Safaia ‘coming and going’ had reached a peak.

It felt like a point of no return

It almost happened magically without pain.

I peered down and with one contraction I saw baby Safaia’s top half pop out.

I gathered my strength and waited until the next contraction to come around and I fought hard not to jump the gun and push before the contraction.

Again, Ellie was coaching me through this process and was pleading with me NOT TO PUSH if the contraction hadn’t come on yet.

Why?

If I pushed too early I would definitely tear some vaginal tissue and make things worse for me after baby is born.

She also asked me not to raise her above the water when she’s out as she needs to remove a bit of the umbilical cord around her neck.

She explained that it would be easier to remove it when she’s still under the water then struggle with it out of the water.

Luckily I managed to hold on and with the last contraction…

WHOOOOSH!

Out she popped.

It was the most relaxing graceful entry into the world I’ve experienced so far!

She wasn’t crying, wasn’t stressed or even curious.

Safaia arrived into the world sleeping πŸ™‚

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The umbilical cord around her neck was masterfully removed by Ellie and Leki was right next to me as Safaia arrived.

I felt so relieved and blessed that it was all over.

2:38pm – Placenta Birth

Leki and I remained in the Bath which was a bloody crimson colour from the labouring discharge.

I was encouraged by Ellie to gently pull on the umbilical while I was in a semi-squat in the bath.

I gave it a couple of tugs and then Ellie supported by bracing me from underneath, with a few more pushes…

WHOOOOSH!

Out came the placenta which felt like another mini-birth.

2:54pm – Skin On Skin

I was helped out of the bath and placed onto the birthing bed to rest and recover.

One of the key things Ellie had to perform now was to assess how much structural damage there was from pushing Safaia out!

I was worried because there was a lot of blood.

Ellie checked and reported that the bleeding was normal and what was important was if it was able to stop by itself.

This meant I had to lie on my back for 30-45mins with my legs clamped shut to try and stop the bleeding.

I used this time bonding with little Miss and she spent her first few moments feeding off me and resting.

My sisters called me on Messenger and I was excited to show them my little trooper!

4:15pm – No Stitches!

I received great news when Ellie told me I didn’t need stitches.

Although I may be sore for a couple of days if I can avoid heavy lifting and excessive walking/squatting then I should be all fine πŸ™‚

Around this time I was fed by Leki while I was resting on my back.

The last time I ate was 7am that morning and with all the effort and energy pushing throughout the day I definitely needed some food!

I prepped some food a day before and packed it for the kids to have at Aunty’s house.

I also had some prepared for us just in case.

Nothing fancy just beef mince, home made tomato paste and boiled vegetables.

Leki warmed it all up in the maternity ward kitchen.

5:00pm – Nice Shower & Change

I then got up and had a nice hot shower while Leki changed little Safaia.

It felt great to take my time washing all the pain and suffering away and change into some warm comfy clothes.

Just before her little outfit change Ellie measured her:

34cm head circumference, 51cm in length and 3.1kg in weight.

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So proud!

Her first little matching headbandΒ  blanket/swaddle was specially made by my Mum.

I bought some material from Spotlight and she made it two weeks before Safaia arrived.

I love the fact that it was uniquely made for her from Nana πŸ˜‰

6:00pm – Check All The Vital Signs & Early Discharge

So both Leki and I had a nice warm shower and freshened up.

Ellie was completing her paperwork.

Little Safaia was resting by the window soaking up some sunshine when…

Ellie mentioned that we’ll be discharged home soon!

I was kinda shocked.

Not shocked… more surprised.

I was really looking forward to staying over at least one night.

I packed for 2 nights πŸ˜‰

But Ellie explained that my vital signs were stable, my birthing wounds will heal naturally without stitches, I didn’t have any pain relief and she would check up on me in the morning over the next 2 days and for 5 visits in total at my home.

She also explained that baby Safaia is healthy ans happy without jaundice or any other troublesome signs.

After I got over my initial disappointment I was actually relieved!

I can sleep in my own bed – YAY!

Soon after I rang Aunty Vine and asked if it was still ok for Emelina and Kyneton to sleep overnight.

She quickly said yes and not to worry they are having a great time.

I felt relieved and helped Leki prepare our things to leave.

It was all starting to sink in now.

We’re going to home with baby #3 in tow πŸ™‚

So happy!

7:00pm – Discharged

Leki left the car in the paid car parking next door and it cost us only $12 for the whole day!

He took our things over and came back with our capsule seat for our little companion.

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While he was doing that I spent some time rugging Safaia up with layers.

And then that was it.

Leki came by, picked us up, popped the capsule into the booster seat, leaned over and gave me a kiss and that was it!

He asked me what I wanted for dinner.

I gave him a cheeky look and waved my hand into the ‘Golden Arches’.

On the way home we stopped half way because Leki was worried Safaia was breathing LOL

She was so quiet and he wasn’t used to it.

After a quick check we were good to go!

8:00pm – Home Sweet Home

When we got home we settled in, warmed the place up and placed Safaia in our bassinet attached to the pram.

Leki and I put our feet up, ate our McDonald’s watching an old episode of Criminal Minds (Leki was also keeping an eye on the Melbourne Storm match LOL) and enjoyed our time together.

We retired to bed at 9:00pm as I gave Safaia her first feed at home.

We both feel asleep, dead tired, in our own beds in our own home with our little girl nestling right beside us sleeping soundly.

What a relief!

In just over 12 hours I had left home, pushed out a baby and returned home like it was a normal day!

Well, if you have stuck with me all the way through – THANK YOU.

I really wanted to experience the water birth process and make it real for you and me.


My intention for this story was to be real and not hide any details.

If my pregnancy and labouring effort sounded easy and breezy I don’t apologise.

The fact is it was very smooth and pain free compared to my other 2 x pregnancies and birthing efforts.

We had put a lot of thought and preparation for having the best experience.

We spent time researching birthing options and decided water birthing was what we wanted.

We decided to take control of our health and eat better.

I spent time working on my self talk and being mindful of my thoughts both negative and positive ones!

Leki and I often talked about how much effort it would take to get from Gisborne to Sunshine.

We shopped and packed our bags early to avoid any surprises.

We asked for help from Family and Friends.

We planned for Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.

All this effort didn’t go unnoticed.

I’m at home already preparing for the upcoming week as Leki prepares to get back to his work and I’ll be holding the fort until some help arrives in the form of my Mum (when she returns from Tonga).

 

So if you’re interested here’s my…

Top 3 Hacks For Having An Easier Pregnancy & Labouring Effort:

1. Get control of your health BEFORE you think to conceive

It’s amazing to think how much of this was the critical factor in the whole process.

Getting yourself in shape physically, mentally and psychologically BEFORE you even think to get pregnant is my BIGGEST recommendation.

Just think… you may have conditions that are mostly coming from lifestyle factors and can be completely reversed RIGHT NOW!

Poor nutrition, poor stress management, poor sleep, negative self talk, poor social support and poor financial habits.

Put some time into reversing these things and find what works for you and it will make your whole experience all the more successful πŸ™‚

2. Routine & Structure is the way FORWARD

A big part of reversing your bad habits is to automate your new habits.

If you have a diet plan that you’re going to follow. Prep the meals.

If you have a weight loss strategy or exercise plan. Find a friend or partner to be accountable to.

If you work or stay at home full time organise a timetable that is non-negotiable.

The thing Leki and I observed with our routine is that when things get out of hand we know what it takes to reestablish our normal day.

It’s like being on a seesaw. If you go too much one way then you have to allow the other side to come up to counter balance.

For example, once we’ve establish our game plan for prepping our meals we saw how long it takes and we can decide which day of that week has a 2 hour window where we can bulk cook. Weeks can vary with commitments but we are committed to our food prep work because nutrition is key for our well being.

3. Get Out Of Your Own Way

Growing up I always had thoughts of not being good enough.

I set the bar low on expectations for myself.

Can’t read well.

Can’t write well.

Not confident when talking to people and always go red.

Even now with so much self development work and ongoing positive self talk I still find myself battling with “Imposter Syndrome”.

Am I being who I am truly on this blog?

My reading and writing have improved a lot with the help of my husband by just persisting with something uncomfortable.

How?

By working together as a team.

I’m not even going as red anymore and it takes extreme cases if I’m being shy or embarrassed.

I remember meeting someone new for the first time and I can feel my cheeks getting flush with blood.

Now… yes I still get a bit nervous but it’s more because of the excitement in meeting someone new who’s interesting rather then the embarrassment of them judging me.

When it came to this pregnancy it all fell into place when I got out of my head and got out of my own way.

We fell pregnant within 1 month of trying whereas our first effort took over 18 months.

I lost a lot of weight without much exercise and being very disciplined with my eating habits.

The list goes on…

In short you are able to achieve remarkable things Mama if you just get out of your own way and make it happen! NO EXCUSES!

 

So there you have it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as we have presented it to you.

And just like that we’ve grown to a Family of Five.

 

With love,

Belinda, Leki, Emelina,Β KynetonΒ and SafaiaΒ xo

P.s. We are aiming to haveΒ 5 x kids so you’ll have another 2 stories in the future πŸ˜‰

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They Grow Up So FAST!

They Grow Up So FAST!

Hi guys,

These are my last few times with my two kids.

Soon we will grow from a family of 4 to 5!

I like tracking how my kids are growing because overnight changes almost happen daily.

My original post on my kids development was Oct 2018 – read about it HERE.

At that time, my little girl Emelina was 3yo and my little boy Kyneton was 9mo.

On the next update Feb 2019 I compared how quickly they had both grown and I had announced that baby #3 was on the way!

Eme is now 4.5yo and Ky is 1.5yo.

Here’s the latest πŸ™‚


Kyneton is 18 months old

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Sleeping

We are trying something different at night.

Kyneton is really good going down when its bed time but after 5 hours he grumbles a little bit, we give him some water and then he’s asleep until 5am.

We put him down and he’s asleep by 7:30pm he’ll be good until 12am and then he’s up at 5am and that’s where Leki takes over.

It could be worse I suppose.

He needs me to nurse him to sleep.

Sometimes his little feet stumbles into our room and he wriggles in somewhere.

We are not as strict with Kyneton with self soothing as we were Emelina.

Apart of me enjoys have him shack up with us sometimes but other times I wish we were more firm with him.

But in preparation for baby #3 due to arrive we have been putting Ky down with Eme in her room.

It seems to work pretty well because he wants someone around him when he’s unsettled.

When we settle our little girl into routine we’ll review the game plan with Ky’s sleeping arrangement.

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Body Movements

Kyneton is happy exploring his environment whether it’s inside or outside.

He likes to be by himself and figure out how things work.

When I’m in the kitchen and I watch him play in the backyard I see him climb into the trampoline or explore the garden and observe the birds and he calls out to them ‘quack quack’.

His running style is getting more stable as he had a very funny zig zag type of running pattern – we’d joke it’s because he’s carrying a big heavy head making him unstable.

I guess his key body movement at the moment is thumb sucking.

Yes, he’s a comfort thumb sucker but we thinks it’s cute πŸ˜‰

Spatial Awareness

Ky is aware of his surroundings and can be very cautious.

The other day we visited his new cousins at the Royal Women’s Hospital and he was very excited to be in a new environment but didn’t want to lose hand contact with either of us.

If we are in familiar territory like Nana and Poppy’s house he runs around like he lives there!

When we are at the local park he quickly realises that the playground is around the corner and is itching to get out of his booster seat.

It’s like he knows his sense of direction when we are in the car running around to the local shopping spots, dropping Eme off to Montessori School or going to Gymnastics.

Can’t get too much past this little guy.

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Food

Kyneton likes food but he’s now starting to pick and choose.

We don’t let him live it up too much.

If he doesn’t want to eat what we’re eating then he can go without food… for a little while πŸ˜‰

The next time he wants to act up when we feed him then he needs to make a decision on what he wants to do.

Suck it up and eat or go without food for a little while.

He’s no longer needing me to ‘Mama’ his food anymore and it’s almost a year since we topped up with formula.

Discipline

We also believe in firm discipline.

He gets a smack and it reinforces something we’re trying to teach him.

The oven is hot, the knife is sharp, the drawer is dangerous, trip over your toys left laying around… the list is endless!

We start with a firm word and come down to him at face level and talk to him.

If he persists or tests us then he’s gonna learn LOL

We smack with love in our heart.

He’ll learn… eventually πŸ™‚

 


Emelina is 4.5yo!

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Sleep

Emelina is a champion sleeper if there is such a thing.

She goes down at 8pm and wakes at 7am.

What a dream!

The only change is that we’ve put Kyneton in with her for a little while to buddy up until our new little girl settles in!

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Spatial Awareness/Gymnastics/Swimming

Eme has been a steady performer in her gymnastics school!

Her form is not as straight as some of her classmates and she’s a little afraid of heights but she’s persisting with her training and enjoying it!

Her little body is not as flexible, strong or fluid but we can see the potential of what Emelina could develop into if she is continues to practice and be consistent.

So proud of her effort so far I hope she continues to enjoy it!

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Discipline

Emelina has a naturally curious and fun personality.

She’s definitely testing the boundaries but it’s from mostly a place of curiosity rather then being naughty.

We have to remember to come from a place of Curiosity rather then Judgement when it comes to our kids.

She is a loving older sister to her younger brother Kyneton.

Sometimes she might play a bit rough then what we prefer but she’s enjoying her playtime with her growing brother.

As we understand it can be completely normal and developmental issue.

We allow Eme to gauge what Ky’s reaction is so that she can develop her own emotional intelligence.

We try very hard not to be a helicopter parent.

I don’t mind if my kids fall over and get hurt.

I don’t worry if there’s a chance that my child will get fingers caught in the drawer.

I like watching Eme and Ky climb ladders and play in the local playground and jump into puddles.

If they get hurt or uncomfortably wet then it was a result of their actions.

I am trying to teach them to be resilient and self sufficient.

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In my last update on this topic I laid out some expectations:

  1. School and Gymnastics for all our children will be mandatory
  2. Then every 6 months we will look to introduce new things for the kids to try.

It may be an learning instrument, scouts, nippers, sport or drama.

Whatever may take their fancy but we are not looking at letting them be lazy on school holidays.

Especially in the final years of primary school leading into high school!

This is helpful because it reminds me how quickly they grow and what little time I have with them before they’re too cool for Mum and Dad πŸ˜‰

I hope you enjoyed this post and the next one will feature out new little team member πŸ˜‰

With love,

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Belinda xo

My Community Turns 25yo!

My Community Turns 25yo!

Hi Mama.

This is a short post about my little community.

25 years ago my Aunties and Uncles started a Catholic community for Tongans based in Melbourne, Australia.

In 1994 they started the Tongan Catholic Community at Sacred Heart Preston.

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I have great memories growing up with my cousins learning our culture and language.

After Church my uncle Daniel who was a youth leader would take the kids to McDonald’s on Bell St Preston or Foodstar on Plenty Rd.

Other times we would gather at my Aunty Pauline and Uncle Daniel’s house around the corner from the church to practice our choir songs, eat and celebrate family times.

When new families move to Melbourne we would organise a little welcome dinner or meal and it was always a great feeling being involved with a community.

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I remember preparing to perform a traditional Tongan dance for community gatherings.

Our traditional dance incorporates graceful movements, upright standing form with our National costume.

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I used to be so scared that I’d forget the movements.

I’ve come full circle now as my 4yo daughter performed her very first dance just like I did all those years ago!

We were so proud!

So now our community is just a few families as people move further away and Interstate.

The thing I love about our community is that it’s a place to slow down and enjoy your family, say thank you for all the good things you have in your life, look to draw help and support from when times are tough and it’s a commitment that my Family enjoys.

Looking forward to maintaining our traditions and keeping the culture alive.

With love,

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Belinda xo

2nd Leg Of The Race!

2nd Leg Of The Race!

Hi guys,

So it’s been a month detox from this blog and it was refreshing πŸ™‚

I’m re-energised and ready to rock n roll!

As it stands I’m due for baby #3 late-Sept 2019 – just 6 weeks or so away.

Read my update on my 1st Trimester – HERE.

Here are my main topics I’d like to follow up with throughout my pregnancy:

  1. Pain
  2. Energy
  3. Self care

1. Pain

In my first update I reported that it’s been the smoothest pregnancy so far!

Into my second trimester I can still say things have been really good for me pain wise.

Very little pain or soreness just feeling sluggish but I’ll elaborate on that in the next point.

The second trimester has scored an A+ πŸ™‚

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I continue to focus on things that make me happy.

I’ve been in the best shape physically and mentally in leading up to this pregnancy and continue to be in good health while I’ve been carrying.

I’ve made the goal to only put on a maximum of 15kg with this pregnancy.

Starting at 70kg my maximum weight I’m aiming for before birth is around 85kg.

More on that next time… πŸ˜‰


2. Energy

Hmm.. what have I been focusing on to improve my energy?

I… WENT… TO… BALI… WITHOUT THE KIDS!!

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Finn’s Bar – Bali

It was only a 5 day visit and we left the kids with Nena we felt like teenagers again πŸ™‚

I wrote about our little Babymoon vacay – HERE.

This 5 day recharge was a godsend.

Don’t get me wrong we love our children obviously but having some R&R time is highly recommended.

We travelled light and enjoyed things like getting in and out of a car without having to pack the whole house LOL

Passing through customs at the airport was almost a thrill rather then being a struggle.

Eating at a restaurant was drama free and we almost forgot what it was like to have adult conversation at the dinner table πŸ˜‰

I’m sure you can relate Mama!


3. Self Care

My little guys are 4yo and 1.5yo and we have a midday nap together.

I really enjoy this time nesting with my kids πŸ™‚

I feel really good.

I do things around the house to help with preparing for my new addition.

Cleaned up and put things away.

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Reviewed our common areas in our house and rejigged our Montessori areas and updated it all.

All that activity in preparing my home ‘frees’ my mind from worrying and makes me feel comfortable in my little nest.

Feeling good is very subjective though.

It can mean different things to different people.

My husband Leki is a physio and he gave me a present… not sure if I asked for it but he gave it to me anyway.

A pregnancy brace.

The idea is to support my tummy to reduce the stress on my body.

I have to be honest I haven’t used it too often but as I get heavier I’ll definitely revisit it and make sure I use it more often.


Over 6 months along and going quite well.

I will be planning to have a Water Birth with baby #3.

I’ll do some more research and share with you about the planned water birth in the next update on my 3rd Trimester πŸ™‚

Have a great day.

Love,

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Belinda xo

How To Enjoy Your Babymoon In Bali!

How To Enjoy Your Babymoon In Bali!

Hi guys.
Today we are going to share what we got up to on our Babymoon Trip to Bali.
You may have heard of a Honeymoon for newlyweds… well a Babymoon is for parents to getaway before the new baby arrives.
Sounds fitting!
We were invited to a joint 30th birthday party earlier in the year and we thought it would be a great chance to relax and reconnect.
This was Jan 2019 and we have just found out that baby #3 was on the way.
We had been trying for 1-2 months and then we passed the pee test. Read about what I wrote about that HERE.
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My husband Leki and I are very active with keeping our calendars free for family events or things we’re interested in doing.
So when we were invited to Bali we knew we had the time available to go.
The experience outranks the monetary cost.
Don’t get me wrong we value $$ just like everyone else does but we prioritise and value time with each other, family and friends a lot higher.
Money is a means to an ends.
My net worth is not my self worth.
So with that being said we started planning out trip.
Found a reasonable place to stay in Seminyak near the party goers. Had the pool, buffet breakfast and comfortable room. Organised transfers to and from the airport and we set our budget.
We then discussed how we would manage our kids, 4yo Emelina ans d 1yo Kyneton.
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I approached my Mum and asked whether she would be able to babysit the kids for 5 days in May.
She said yes and started to plan how to manage her work hours so she could help us out.
Owe her a million bucks but some creams from Victoria’s Secret will do for now 🀣🀣
This is was all organised by Feb.
We feel really strongly about being self sufficient.
So when it comes a time to ask for help we don’t feel like we’re stepping on any toes and they are happy to help because we don’t ask often.
It’s a win win scenario.
FYI – when we called video called the kids were so happy playing with their cousins. They forgot all about Mum and Dad and said they’re having so much fun! See… win win.
Can you imagine the feeling of having kids who are happy and safe with Family while you and hubby relive your youth alone together in Bali?
I am so blessed and I don’t take that for granted.
So what was on the itinerary?
Rest.
Recharge.
Massage.
Talk.
Eat.
Sleep.
Think.
Smile.
Laugh.
Plan.
Celebrate.
Had so much fun and we have started planning the next trip which will most likely be winter 2021 back to Bali.
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Here’s a little snapshot of 2019 and 2020.
Sept 2019 baby #3 arrives
Nov 2019 cousin’s wedding in Sydney
Jan 2020 Ky’s 2nd bday and Baby #3 Baptism plus Leki’s Family retreat
Feb 2020 Sister’s wedding
Mar 2020 Eme’s 5 bday/ Leki and Bma 35th bday bash
Nov 2020 Other Sister’s wedding
So you can see there’ll be a little bit of time before we feel the warm sun in Bali again.
We’ll continue to be happy and healthy until we return.
With love,
https://youtu.be/y-yHow1S6Vo
Belinda xo
Easter 2019

Easter 2019

Hi guys,

How was your Easter long weekend?

As a Christian family we believe that Jesus died for us for the promise of life after death.

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Brigid’s Catholic Parish in Gisborne

This is an opportunity to appreciate everything that we have no matter how big or small.

The wind in your hair, the roof over your head, the warmth of your bed, the love of your friends and family.

Even the challenges in your life is something to be thankful of.

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So what did we get up to?

We caught up with Leki’s Family on Easter Sunday which was good fun. We did have plans of having it at Brimbank Park like last year but the weather was a bit iffy so we celebrated at his sister’s home instead.

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On Easter Monday we celebrated with my family at Edwardes Lake in Reservoir.

It’s great to be around my Family to celebrate this great gift of Life.

From my photos from last year I can see how much the kids have grown, the relationships have strengthened and that both our Grandmothers have gone to Rest πŸ™

Thank you Jesus for everything we have.

With love,

Belinda xo

Baby #3 Is On The Way!

Baby #3 Is On The Way!

Hi everyone,

Exciting news!

We are expecting another addition to the family due to arrive in Sept 2019 πŸ™‚

This is a special blessing because I wrote about trying to have kids and having to educate ourselves on how best to fall pregnant.

We fell pregnant on our 2nd month of trying! We’re so happy πŸ™‚

Btw, revisit our announcement of baby #2 – our son Kyneton – HERE.

Our family of 4 turns to 5 and we are so happy!

Now it’s still early days as we completed the 12 week ultrasound earlier this month.

I’m fortunate to have my caseload nurse from my last pregnancy – Allie – manage me again! YAY!

Right now I’m feeling pretty happy and healthy.

I’ve had a little bit of morning sickness but I have been very hungry and craving meaty meals.

I also prefer to have other people cook for me or eat out.

I love visiting my parents and having my Mum cook and look after me. It’s such a great feeling being able to be pampered even if it’s just a nice home cooked meal and a nice foot and stomach massage from my Mum.

Whatever Leki cooks at home I don’t want to eat πŸ™ Poor Leki.

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Getting the new team member in September!

I’ve recently brought my pregnancy clothes back from storage and it’s a nice feeling to be comfortable with my fitted dresses and clothes.

My plan is to provide you with a monthly update on how my 3rd pregnancy is going.

Plus, with my last two pregnancies I documented my efforts to lose weight.

In the future I will share with you my efforts to lose the baby weight but this time I’ll have more experience and focus more on staying happy and optimistic.

Appreciate your support,

Belinda xo

Eme’s 4th Birthday

Eme’s 4th Birthday

Hi all,

Our little girl has just turned 4 years old and we celebrated it with a good old backyard party.

It was themed as the popular PJ Mask and my sisters pitched in and hired an entertainer to come dressed as Eme’s favourite cartoon character – Owlette!

owlette

You should have seen the wide smile and big eyes on her face as Owlette popped out from the corner.

I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life.

This made me think about the innocence of youth.

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Our daughter Emelina is newly 4 years old and believes everything you tell her.

She believes in Santa, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and all the other make believe things we grew up adoring.

There will be a time when she realises how the world actually works.

She might be at school and one of her friends will tell her that Santa’s not real.

Or may be an older cousin will find out the truth and share the news with her.

Maybe she busts Mum and Dad slipping the presents under the Christmas treeΒ not Santa and Rudolph.

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Or Mum and Dad might accidentally slip that the tooth fairy is not real.

When that day comes I know that little spark in my little girl’s eyes will change… forever.

I guess that’s why I was so moved when she reacted the way she did when she saw the ‘real’ Owlette at her party.

She was absolutely convinced it was Owlette from TV and Emelina hardly let her out of her reach as the entertainer was playing games and organising the kids.

I highly recommend the entertainers and you can find them at Magical Princess Entertainment.

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She did a great job and will look to have them host a Party again in the future!

So a little about the actual party….

We had a backdrop which I built and it took me an hour and a bit to piece together with a balloon garlandΒ  πŸ™‚

I ordered the backdrop off UBACKDROP which arrived within 1 week from when the order was made.

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Thanks Vikki they look awesome!

Having a large family we had plenty of hands on deck to help with preparing the food and drinks.

Special shout out to my Mum for all her hard work and great help (couldn’t do it without you!), my Aunty for always supplying seafood and her special Island drink Otai, my sisters Kathy and Taina for their help and Vikki for putting the cake and cupcakes together within hours πŸ˜‰

These events do not go to plan unless I have my supporters to assist. THANK YOU!

Believe it or not I have already thought about Eme’s 5th and 6th birthday party themes.

I guess I have more fun then her planning her birthdays then she does actually celebrating it πŸ™‚

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Emelina please enjoy your childhood before the you join the rest of us in the real world!

In the real world where you can be disappointed.

In the real world the curiosity and wonder diminishes with each day πŸ™

Stay where you are where there is magic and wonder my beautiful little girl.

Happy birthday Eme.

Don’t ever grow up.

Love,

Mum, Dad and your brother Kyneton.

Kid Free Zone

Kid Free Zone

Hi guys,

We celebrated my husband’s birthday recently which also happen to land on Valentine’s Day πŸ™‚

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Over a month earlier we had organised a night away from the kids.

This was a mini holiday where we left our 3yo and 1yo with my parents for the night and they played with Aunty, Uncle and their cousins.

So what did hubby and I do?

We went to see the soulful songstress Lauryn Hill featuring hiphop artist Nas.

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Wandered around the city and Crown.

Shopped at DFO South Wharf.

Shopped again at Highpoint.

It took us back to our teenage/high school years.

Out late on a school night (Wed night) and no responsibilities (for a short while).

WeΒ felt like teenagers again πŸ˜‰

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It was our first time to Sidney Myer Music Bowl and it was a great venue!

Outdoor, grassy hill and seated area closer to the action.

Not used to being out late we actually left early from the concert at 10:30pm because we both were getting tired.

Then on Valentine’s Day we found a spot in the City Laneways that serves Bulletproof coffee and keto friendly food.

Had breakfast there with Leki’s Mum.

I then had the chance to check in with the kids and see how they were holding up at Nana and Poppy’s house.

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I was happy to hear that they were behaving and having a great time. They didn’t even miss Mama and Daddy πŸ™‚

After breakfast weΒ made our way to DFO South Wharf for a bit of shopping then on dropped into Highpoint Shopping Centre.

Date night was a success and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but it’s funny when you’re looking forward to have a break from the kids and then you end up talking about them!

Strange isn’t it…

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Looking forward to the next date night.

We a little something planned in May which we’ll talk about later πŸ˜‰

THANK YOU to my parents, my sisters and nieces and nephews who looked after my 2 little munchkins while I was out reliving my youth!

I hope you have nice date nights to recharge the batteries and to keep the flame burning bright.

Happy Lovers Day for Thursday!

With love,

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Belinda xo

Kyneton Turns 1!

Kyneton Turns 1!

Hi all,

My son just turned ONE YEAR OLDΒ on 3 Jan 2019.

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My little birthday boy

If you missed it – I documented my real birthing process minute by minute in an earlier post – HERE.

WARNING – YOU WILL SEE SOME BLOOD OF A REAL MUM HAVING A BABY πŸ™‚

Unbelievable how quickly time has gone.

So today I thought it’d be helpful to talk to you about how we organise little gatherings and a lot of it comes down to early planning and asking for help with the preparations.

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Never mind his presents – happy with his balloon LOL

Here are my Top 3 recommendations:

  1. Plan Early
  2. Ask For Help
  3. Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!

Plan Early

My husband Leki and I started planning for Ky’s 1st birthday around August last year.

The main thing we talked about was when and where.

We decided to push his birthday party to later in the month as 3 January most people are away on holidays.

The next thing that drove our decision wasΒ whereΒ we would have the party.

That came down to cost and convenience.

We had thought about a Water Park, local gardens/park, the backyard, at a play centre, at my parents house, in a Hall but either it was too expensive or dates were unavailable.

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Making memories

Then we thought about Eastern Beach in Geelong.

It was perfect!

45 mins drive from Melbourne, kiddies pool, diving boards for older kids (adults) πŸ™‚ and plenty of green grass for the family to enjoy!

BEST OF ALL IT’S COMPLETELY FREE!!!

The only thing that we can’t depend on is the weather.

Now on the day we were blessed to have great sunshine and a cool breeze in the shade. So happy! πŸ™‚

But… we were so afraid it would be overcast with rain which was what was forecast for the whole week leading into the birthday weekend. Lucky for us it turned on just in time πŸ˜‰

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Daddy & Son time

So now that we had a location we decided to plan for the Australia Day weekend but when Leki rang the council to enquire whether we could put up a 6m x 3m marquee they said a BIG cycle race was on the long weekend. “The Cadel Evans Great Race”Β would essentially shut down the whole city of Geelong. Lucky he rang!

So we pushed it forward a week and decided on 19 January 2018.

We made that decision in Sept 2018!

So from Sept to Dec 2018 we started buying little things to help make it easier for the day. Leki bought a big esky from Costco, a large marquee from Bunnings and I organised the little banner and decorations early so I didn’t have to stress closer to the big day!


Ask For Help

Nothing great can be achieved by yourself.

Ask for help!

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My little Family of 4

We are fortunate to have a wonderful family surrounding us that can help in any way they can. Offering help with food preparations, donating their time to help, organising the kids to get there even though parents have to work, contacting me to see if there’s anything that needs doing and lending a hand to shop for things especially juggling a few kids πŸ˜‰

Believe me it’s a ‘good’ stress when you are running an event but when you have some help it makes it enjoyable as well!

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Thanks to everyone who came and helped make the Day successful!

It feels so humbling when you have Family that are so helpful and it’s coming from a place of genuine love.

THANK YOU EVERYONE πŸ™‚


Make Sure Your Guests Have Fun!

Everytime Leki and I host an event we try and spend time with everyone to make them feel welcome and special because we realise everyone could spend their time doing something else.

But, they chose to give up their beautiful Saturday to spend it with us celebrating Kyneton’s 1st birthday.

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A little hack we like to think about is if we were being invited to a party what would we like to do or have done for us?

Being in the open we thought it was important to have shelter, comfortable chairs and space for everyone to relax.

We also wanted plenty of food so people could enjoy themselves and then take some things home to eat later in the day or the next day.

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Kiddie Pool

Another thing was looking after the kids and making sure they had fun. We planned little games to play and wanted to make sure they had plenty of swimming time, play time and adventure in the sun πŸ™‚

For the older members of the Family we wanted to make sure there was plenty of shade and comfort for them out of the sun.

All in all I can say the day was a success and a large part of it was due to the great weather and planning the day out as best we can!


 

In closing this is a sad post for me because although we had a lot of fun my little side kick is growing up.

We’ve enrolled him into our local Montessori School with Eme which is only an hour per week just to get the hang of things and to introduce some Montessori ideas (we started Eme at Montessori at 18 months).

Aside from that we are looking forward to my hubby’s birthday in February then Emelina’s 4th birthday in March.

Time flies when you’re having fun πŸ™‚

With love,

 

Belinda xo